Joy to the World
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10, ESV
Have you ever thought about what creates happiness? Some people think that some people are born more happy than others. TV ads and magazine ads tell us that if we have this product or that service we will be happy; gyms tells us if we get their membership, we will be signing up for healthy and happy life. Schools say that education is the key to happy and successful life! Have you ever thought about how poor people, persecuted people who don’t have this kind of "stuff" can still be really happy? That’s because happiness isn’t something you buy. It’s something that was already paid for. It’s a gift for you.
Jesus is the source of true happiness. Here in God’s Word we see that the angels say that the birth of Christ will result in joy. The word for joy is “Cara” in the Greek. It’s used fifty-nine times in the New Testament. Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, here in this life. Jesus used the word “joy” to describe the emotional impact His life would have on His followers. He told them: “These things I have spoken to you, that MY JOY may be in you, and that YOUR JOY may be full" (Jn. 15:11).
Here we see Jesus doesn’t just offer us an obscure source of joy; rather He is personal. He shares. He gives His joy away, His happiness for our gladness. He gives it to the human heart, which he fashioned and formed, imputing emotions of joy for us to experience new life. Jesus doesn't just offer us a little joy but rather a lot. He desires our joy to be “full,” not empty or half filled but complete and full! That is, 100% filled up on the joy that comes from Christ's heart and soul is made available to you and me! Everything about Jesus gives joy to the world. In his birth (Mt 2:10, Lk 2:10), in his life (Jn 15:11), in his death and resurrection (Jn. 16:22) he offers joy. Joy is a extraordinary happiness that come from a Holy God. This enables us to find happiness in hard times, a way to rejoice when everything seems to go wrong. It’s produced in us as we learn to rely on His Spirit (Gal 5:22), and it increases over time.
1. Why do you think God wants to give us joy?
2. Why is joy hard to feel sometimes?
3. Did you know that we can pray for joy? (Rom. 15:13)
Dear Lord, fill me with all Your joy. I ask for me today, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that I might live with an extraordinary sense of joy! In Jesus' name, amen.
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